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Transforming Image

In this 90-minute program, students encounter examples of historical and contemporary Northwest Coast First Nations paintings and are introduced to the innovative Image Recovery Project. Using infrared technology, and raking light to reveal images under dirt or ash, historical painted images are recovered from bentwood boxes, house fronts and other cedar sculptures and objects. The recovery of these images allows First Nations artists and researchers to see the uniqueness and beauty of historical Northwest Coast paintings. A visual presentation paired with a walking tour through the museum galleries highlights the both new and old objects that have extraordinary painted designs. Contemporary bentwood boxes recreated from the infrared photographs of historic boxes are used in a tracing and sketching activity to encourage students to look closely, and appreciate the artists design skills.